Limitless in 2012 - Part 5

James Preston Reply 9:03 AM
Well, here we are!  At the end of 2012's first week, and the end of the Limitless challenge.  Do you see how quickly the weeks go by?  Multiply this by 51 and you will be in 2013.  That is fast!

As I said in the first post of the week, you don't want to be bearing down on the end of the year only to realise that you barely started your dreams, let only finished them.  So make sure you start to plan early!  Write down what you would like to at least start this year, what you would like to step out into, and what you would like to accomplish.  Place that document somewhere clearly visible.  On your computer desktop, in your diary, on your office or study wall, on your fridge.  And then schedule the time into your life to get those things done!

Now for this week's prophetic painting and the final aspect of the Limitless challenge.

The Face of Jesus.  Jesus is the Source of Life.  He gives Life to those He believe, and not just any life, abundant Life.  The God-kind of Life.  The Greek word is "Zoe", which means God's Life.  When we see Jesus the Life of God is imparted into every fiber of our beings, and we are strengthened from within to take on anything!

This is the key to accomplishing most of our dreams.  Especially the big ones!  Let me just say at this point, I hope you are dreaming big for 2012.  Sure, you may want to take baby steps and start small, but please don't ever settle for that your entire life.  You are qualified child of the King; a Prince, a Princess.  Dream that way!  No dream is too small.

To accomplish our dreams we need the Life of God imparted to every part of who we are.  We need to be strengthened from within.  Life can so easily get us down, and it is the Life of God that will push us through those low points.

2 Corinthians 3:16 - 18 says that whenever anyone turns to the Lord (in this context, the Lord here is referring to Christ) the veil is taken away, the Spirit comes and brings freedom, and we are transformed.  Interestingly, Romans 8:21 tells us that if the Spirit of Jesus lives in us (which He does) He will impart Life to our mortal bodies.

I don't know about you, but when I read about the incredible things Jesus did, or descriptions of what He is life and how Glorious He is, I feel the Life of God stirring within me.  I feel uplifted and strengthened, and I feel like I can do anything!  This is why it is so important to read Scripture looking to see the Person of Jesus.  All Scripture points to Jesus.  The more we see Jesus, the more we will be strengthened to accomplish supernatural feats!

For the final encouragement for being Limitless in 2012, I want to encourage you to make time and space for Jesus.  Do whatever works for you.  It may not necessarily be reading the Bible, it may be reading a devotional, it may be listening to your favourite preacher who reveals the work and Life of Jesus in the Word, it may be listening to Glorious Worship music.  Whatever it may be, make time in your weeks this year to receive fresh impartation of the Life of God.  Because as you do so, new strategies, new ideas, new strength and even new dreams will come to you.  You truly will be able to accomplish anything you put your hands to!

This year, you are LIMITLESS!  The opportunities for you are Limitless!  Don't think of yourself as a grasshopper, see yourself as a child of God who take on anything and anyone!

Limitless in 2012 - Part 4

James Preston Reply 6:30 AM
Day 4 of the "Limitless challenge" is based on this painting of a swing. You may ask what does a swing have to do with your dreams? It's the symbolism of what a swing represents that you'll be interested in.

This picture of a swing was a vision that my wife had representing resting in the Grace of God and not striving in our own strength. It is a beautiful picture, because when one thinks of a swing, one thinks of relaxing and having fun. And, in our younger years, we didn't even have to get the momentum going, it was usually our parents pushing us.

The Scripture that accompanies this picture is Hebrews 4:9 - 11:
"There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from His. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience."

The context this passage is referring to is the Israelites in the desert with Moses. They kept moaning about how life would have been better in Egypt, and yet God kept providing for them supernaturally. Eventually, that generation missed out on the Promised Land because they couldn't come to believe God that the Promised Land truly was their inheritance by His Grace and not their own strength. In Number 14:44-45 a number of the Israelites went to attack the giants of the Promised Land despite their earlier unbelief, and in their own efforts they were defeated because God had already sworn not to give them the land due to that unbelief. Had they originally gone in the Grace of God they would have beaten them effortlessly.

This is what this passage in Hebrews is referring to. Those Israelites fell short of their inheritance because they didn't believe that God was good enough to be with them and give them the land despite the giants inhabiting it.

You see, God wants to make thing easy for you. He wants to open doors supernaturally, multiply your work beyond your own ability, give you business deals that you didn't even see coming! But He wants you to believe Him for those things, and He wants you to step out as if you do believe Him for those things.

It's no use believing Him for supernatural favour over your work and dreams and acting as though you have none!

Now, the passage encourages us to "make every effort to enter that rest". Sounds like an oxymoron, right? The reason it says this is because it is the nature of mankind, ever since "The Fall", to work and labour for their keep. It is a default belief in our DNA that the harder we work, the more successful we will become. But this verse is telling us to slow down, and believe God to make us successful by His Grace and not our own hard works!

Does that mean we don't work at all? No, I don't believe that. Noah still had to build an ark. Abraham still had to get into bed with Sarah. Gideon still had to go into the camp of Midianites to defeat them. David still had to pick up the stones and use his sling. But in each of those cases, it was the Grace of God that allowed their work to be abundantly blessed and the results were supernatural.

Think about it, just one throw and the giant that had been threatening an entire nation was defeated. Just one throw from a little shepherd boy! That's the rest God is talking about. Did David do nothing and say "God will defeat Goliath for us?" No! It was because He believe God was faithful that caused Him to get some stones and take Goliath head on!

Friends, if you believe God is for you and wants to bless you, then you will step out and do some audacious things. You won't sit back passively. You will take this world head on! And by God's Grace, your work will be abundantly blessed!

One of my goals this year is to make more time for my wife and coming son, and to trust God that whatever time I spend on my work and fulfilling my dreams will be supernaturally multiplied by the Grace of God. That is the "rest" I am trusting God for this year!

Believe God for the same this year. Trust Him to accomplish more this year without compromising time with family or friends. Get on the swing with Jesus, and watch Him take you to new heights effortlessly by His Grace!

Limitless in 2012 - Part 3

James Preston Reply 7:00 AM
Almost halfway in the week of encouragement to go after our dreams in 2012.  How has your week been so far?  Are you back at work amongst the hustle and bustle of everyday life already?  If you're not at work, count yourself lucky.  And make a conscious decision not to let everyday life consume your thoughts and energy when you eventually do get back to the grind.

Now, today's encouragement is about Who you are accomplishing your dreams with.  Yesterday I touched on the truth that it was Jesus who created you, and thus the dreams and desires that you have in your heart are most likely part of His design.  Today, I want to remind you that your Designer didn't just create and said "off you go, come back when you have some results."  No, He wants to be part of the journey each and every day.  He Loves you and your dreams so much, that He loves to watch them unfold as they happen.  He made this possible by making His dwelling in you.

Another great addition to the incredible prophetic paintings by Jennifer Weir, today's picture represents our pathway to a glorious inheritance, and the Holy Spirit's Presence with us (the dove).

Hebrews 13:5 God encourages us: "I will never leave you, nor forsake you."

These are two very significant promises for us to take hold of in pursuit of our dreams.  God, the Creator of all things, and our Loving Father, is always with us.  This means no matter what it is that we are putting our hands to, He is always there.  He is present, and He is available.

And if He is always present, that means He is always available to call out to.  Whether it by like yesterday we were may feel in over our heads; He is right there to stretch out His hand to help us.  Or whether it is during a moment of creativity block, He is right there to inject us with that little of bit extra inspiration.  It could even be a new idea that we may be pursuing, a business idea, a new engineering invention etc.; if we ever get stuck in the process and a part doesn't fit, He is right there to show us how the part fits or the process comes together.

Just ask Him.  Wait and listen.  He will answer.  He promised that He will never leave or forsake you.  That means He is always there.  And that means when you ask, He will answer.  We know that He speaks in the most creative ways, so just wait.  Ask Him, and wait.  Quieten yourself, go for a walk or a drive, put on some music, give it a rest for a day or two, and wait...  Your Loving Father promises to answer you and give you exactly what you need!  (Philippians 4:19)

The promise goes on to say that He will never forsake us!  This means no matter what we have done or where we have gone, He will not forsake us!  He will not discard us, and give up on us.

Maybe we made a bad business decision, did something we shouldn't have done, been lazy or ill-disciplines in pursuit of our dreams.  There are a number of things we can do so easily that can make us feel guilty and unworthy of continuing the pursuit of our dreams.  These can very often be moments that cause people to give up.

If you ever feel this way, push on!  Don't give up!  God will never forsake you!  No matter what it is you have or haven't done!  Nothing will make you unworthy enough to make God give up on you!  He will never give up on you!  Thank God for His Grace and Love toward you, receive it, and get on with the job of changing the world.

My friend, you have been called to change the world.  In however big or small a way.  Your dreams and desires have the potential to contribute to a changed world.  I am entirely convinced that if every human being on the planet had to truly pursue the dreams and desires in their hearts in unconditional Love, the world would be radically different.

Your dreams can change the world.  Pursue them.  Your Father will never leave you, and He will never forsake.  You have no excuse not to pursue them.

Limitless in 2012 - Part 2

James Preston 2 6:00 AM
Well, here we are, day 2 of the challenge:  Going after our dreams in 2012.  And aiming to finish as many as we possibly can.  Let me just say; I also realistically understand that some dreams take years to realise.  The architects of the new World Trade Centre in New York City won't be taking Jon Acuff's "finish year" literally, that's for sure!  So please don't rush something that needs time.  Instead, these blog posts are intended to inspire you to go after your dreams.  To not get caught up in the mundane of everyday life, and to make space to get creative and do the things you've always dreamed of doing.  Even if it means starting it this year.

By the way, how many of you headed over to Jon Acuff's blog after yesterday's post?  I would love to hear your opinions about his concept as well as his blog.  Do me a favour and comment below or on my Facebook wall.

Now to today's encouragement...

As mentioned yesterday, I am using each of Jennifer Weir's prophetic paintings from our sermon on Sunday morning.  This is the first picture I shared on.  It is inspired by the following passage of Scripture:

Matthew 14:30 - 31 
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Many of us have often stepped out in a dream that we were so desperate to accomplish, only to find ourselves in over our heads.  Peter was in the same proverbial boat (while literally being out of the boat!).

Peter wanted to walk on water.  He said to Jesus "if it is you, then call me out with you."  Silly question to ask Jesus if you're a scaredy-cat.  Jesus said "come".  But while doing the supernatural, Peter's mind started comprehending the enormity of what he was actually doing.  And in realising how big a task it was, especially with the wind and storm, he began to sink.  There was only one way out.

Peter cries out for Jesus to save him.  And one of my favourite words in Scripture, Jesus immediately stretched out his hand to save him, bringing him back up to eye-level with Jesus.

I want to encourage you today, if you are stepping out in a truly supernatural task that just seems impossible to the natural mind, you have a Saviour who is watching you and just waiting to reach out His hand to save you.  As we looked at yesterday in Ephesians 2:10, Jesus created you, and He created you with a purpose.  He created you with destiny.  And if you have dreams that seem impossible to the natural mind, don't shrug them off.  If He created you, then who do you think put those dreams there in the first place?

After all, He also promises to give us the desires of our heart.  Does that mean He was the one who gave us those desires in the first place?  It looks like it!

So don't ever think that your dreams are too big.  The bigger the better!  But, like Peter, you may just find yourself in over your head.  I know I have on a few occasions.  (On one occasion I actually came to the brink of fainting - I'll tell you the story some time).  But in those moments, just one cry to your Loving Saviour, and He is ready and waiting to immediately save you, pick you up and place you back on course for miracles.

And He will even ask you, "why did you doubt yourself?"  In essence, that is what Jesus was asking Peter.  "Why did you doubt your ability to do this?  I was right here, standing right in front of you!"

The more you realise your true identity as a child of the Most High God, a prince or princess in the Kingdom of Heaven, a younger brother or sister of Jesus, the more you have the courage to do the impossible.

So today's encouragement:  Don't be afraid of the seemingly impossible dreams.  Don't listen to the doubting "realists" (pessimists).  Jesus is right there throughout your journey, and He is ready and willing to pick you up when you need Him.  With that Truth in mind, it should provide more than enough encouragement to pursue those big dreams!

See you tomorrow for Part 3.

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